What is this right to work ? |
An incongruous ambiguity or a sop to the mob ?
The Spanish constitution states it quite clearly and were it not for the amazing lack of employment opportunity in the country, it would have gone unnoticed with every other badly thought out clause most ideological documents contain. In fact, the clause supposedly guaranteeing the right to work is an excellent example of what needs to be looked at closely by those who have the public interest at heart. It is amazing that Spanish politicians do not appear to have even heard of it. The average educational standards of the public in Spain was never taken into account when these things were written or when most television programmes were put together. The contents of the national media makes for difficult and convoluted reading and certainly not designed for the mayority of the voters. As such therefore, public reaction to anything remotely political is predictable and street knowledge depends on word of mouth interpretation of anything that appears to be important. No sooner is any political or judicial subject reflected on the TV screen than the reflex zapping takes over. It is aggravated by the fact that most channels contain the same events and which are boring, repetitive and ultimately for the very few. Additionally, as politicians from every walk and government bench team up with the slavish subsidized media the propaganda nature of the exercise becomes obvious. Nothing much has changed in this respect since the Franco days and there is even talk that the whole bureucatic system now falling apart, never changed in the first place.It was designed to demand an attention that has never been there and frustrates a nation which rejects it outrightly on their screens. To add insult to injury, the international CNN and only interesting international news channel, was given over to Big Brother and the existing more mundane national tv progamme "24 hrs" subjected to overwhelming political argument to influence social thought like an anodyne. In 21 century Europe !
But its the business of the “right to work” that has everybody guessing. It would imply that if citizen Gomez wants to work that banging the table will produce the genie. If this is not the case, then what on earth does it mean ? The Unions which probably helped to put it in - must have reeled with fervour at the thought of a a worker´s paradise, but like all socialist/communist ideologies aimed at mass support, it has gone horribly wrong. This illogical clause anchored on fantasym was obviously never really meant to be scrutinized and it begs the question "What on earth does it mean ?" No one can offer a straight answer. If there is no work available due to market or entrepreneurial shortages, does the State have to provide it and keep an army of workless robots whirling around handing papers around in a mad carousel ? Or maybe it means the creation of a totally bureaucratic state geared to provide full national employment at its own expense? But then, where would the money come from unless the state owned every national asset like some South American moguls? Perhaps the constitutional writers thought that the bureaucracy would be the sole employer fed by unlimited assets they squeezed to their limits ? Whilst the money came in from Europe and the reckless property boom, the clause gathered dust, but with the workplace in mortal danger, the clause had to be aired to what promises to be a riot of circular arguments.
The last vestiges of communist Europe (in the form of very overexposed and confused union leaders, have suddenly seen the light in the tunnel centred on the right to work clause. It has been brandished recently before an equally confused press accustomed to accepting the sanctity of the constituion. The Unions now running scared of being accused of creating the massive unemployment feverishly look for scapegoats in among other things, the very market place itself, despite the fact that challenging it denies democratic progress. With a country sliding into recession again, even the much needed labour reforms are accused of unemployment triggers. The unions deny any part in the unemployment they have and continue to create, by targetting an employment they find unacceptable in the hands of the small and medium sized employers. “The State should be the only employer” rang loud and clear in their exhortations to public action. So much so that that the artful socialist with millions to his name and one time “President” of Spain, Don Felipe Gonzalez, had to admit “that the present union forum lived on fanciful archaic principles in need of realistic revision”. Yet the socialist movement of which he is a prominent past light, continues to deny support to the employers in their bid for hire and fire protection - a bid that takes the terror out of firing and which puts investment in the sector in the hands of any crafty worker intent on sinking the ship. In fact, once employed – always employed like some sort of medieval oath.
The present labour reforms, designed to take the fear that firing incorporates are being taken to the courts as “ illegal and unconstitutional!” With that in mind, it should not be long before Greece comes up alongside.
The right to work, whatever it may mean, demands an explanation that the people have been trying to determine when their jobs and employers went to the wall. If they had a right to work, then how could they be fired even if their employers could no longer afford to keep them in close comfort. ? The answer, it would seem, was contained in the low profile, behind-the-scene, Judicial and Ministerial tactics designed to criminalize the employer. This aspect of the ideological disregard for private investment in labour is only now beginning to emerge whilst the dangerous tribunals which act for the workers at all times, continue to grind away mercilessly. “We must never allow the employer to assume a greater degree of social influence” rang out loudly from billboards urging strikes. The employer, it would seem is still seen as the "claimant" to the role of keeper of the labour keys - the sceptre of employment.Any means to take their assets therefore are considered fair including hasty auctions in the very courts themselves. Most Spanish employers surrender their titles to their spouses, but the unsuspecting foreign employer falls right into the hole. however. With little street knowledge of the constitutional right to keep the nation´s employees in that active state, they see their assets thrown away to willing side wingers watching on. The hotel industry blinded by union provoked walk outs, has left owners on the rocks accused of mismanagement. The little exposed reality is that attempts to maintain standards in the face of unwilling, workers of low educational standards, brought in the tribunals and ruin. Such planned takovers in the guise of worker rights allow no legal framework for the employer to demand justice. Such behaviour in an enlightened Europe is only part of what labour intensive investment carries with it. The current joke about what is meant with the oft bandied expression “How do you make a small fortune in Spain ?" (“By bringing in a bigger one you dumpo!)is an indigestible reality.
All this is sad news in the present turn of events with poverty stricken families being thrown out with their furniture onto the streets and a third of the nation, if not really more, under the breadline. But then socialists and communists, still find it difficult to understand it. The glaring example of a constitution that guarantees work that the state itself turned its back on, is finally and ridiculously on the table. Spain has been , despite the deluge of subsidies and foreign investment in the form of unbridled tourism and agricultural export, the worst example according to an angry EEC, of social concern as far as family family support is concerned. Social responsibilities like unemployment benefit and or family allowances in case of need, have never existed Living the needy to their fate. Most unemployed and neglected families over the years have been forced to undertake any form of undercover work, including drug dealing to survive. The unreasonable fear on the part of the state, that such luxuries like keeping the family in basic food and shelter could encourage low industrial effort, and disrespect for work does not fit in very well with what has really been going on. The truth of the matter is that every ill that could be associated with that fear has been encouraged. Government funded Union movements have ignored sbsenteeism, low production, exaggerated numbers of festive holidays, massive social security contributions (almost half the salaries) and poor educational standards, have been the most prominent of the social ills, These among other factors have finallly driven the employer to look for investment elsewhere.
Nothing, it would seem, makes sense in a nation which has over employment in the public sector, and politically encouraged cartel industries (apparently one single company invoices most of the national consumer goods and services). Add a fondled, banking system with little or no consideration for the much disliked small business sector and the wobble becomes suicidal. Why ? Why such concentrated hatred of the average employer? Simply because it is the cradle of the nation´s free spirited, unmanageable and potentially politically influential members. It also, alas, happens not to be a safe retreat for the political party system of safe havens for their family and friends. The politically powerful do not seek favours of anything that does not carry a large enough price tag to cover the abuse. Those price tags cannot be found in the small and medium sized business of the nation´s economic platform.
But then perhaps it is now too late. The baby has been thrown out with the bathwater in various parts of Europe. It is forseeable that it is going to cost the average euro simpleton and descendants a pretty fortune, The toddler however is still alive and well - presumably laid back in a fiscal paradise and not very keen on getting back.
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unemployment, europe, the euro, currency, socialist ideologist, communism, worker rights, labour tribunals, spain, greece, national constitutions, cor,